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Analyst: LI retail sales growth will beat national average

Marshal Cohen, chief retail analyst at NPD Group,

Marshal Cohen, chief retail analyst at NPD Group, at Roosevelt Field mall on Nov. 20, 2013. Cohen and his company provide retail software programs to help merchants accurately plan pricing and demand. Credit: Newsday / Audrey C. Tiernan

Retail sales on Long Island will grow at a faster pace in 2017 than retail sales nationally, a local analyst predicted Wednesday.

Nationally, retail sales will grow between 2.8 percent and 3.3 percent, said Marshal Cohen, senior retail analyst with the NPD Group, a Port Washington market research company.

Long Island “always does better than the national average and certainly will do this year too,” Cohen said.

The National Retail Federation said Wednesday it is projecting that retail sales nationally will increase between 3.7 percent and 4.2 percent this year, compared to its outlook of 3.75 percent for 2016. The group’s figures exclude automobile, gasoline and restaurant sales.

The trade group said online and other non-store sales such as from catalogs, which are included in the overall number, are expected to rise 8 percent to 12 percent. It said last month that overall sales in November and December rose 4 percent, beating a forecast of 3.6 percent, while online sales rose 12.6 percent.

“At the present, the economy is moving along very nicely,” Cohen said. He added, “Much of the growth will again come online over in-store.”

After a bumpy holiday season and sales increasingly moving online, malls have been struggling and stores like The Limited are shutting down. — with the Associated Press

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